Notes on the Notes – November 3, 2019
What is this thing called church?
This week’s scripture readings:
Psalm 121 Matthew 9: 9-13
This week’s music:
“Come In, Come in and Sit Down” (VU #395)
“Come in, come in and sit down,
You are a part of the family.
We are lost and we are found,
And we are a part of the family.
You know the reason why you came,
Yet no reason can explain;
So share in the laughter and cry in the pain,
For we are a part of the family.
God is with us in this place,
Like a mother’s warm embrace.
We’re all forgiven by God’s grace,
For we are a part of the family.
There’s life to be shared in the bread and the wine,
We are the branches, Christ is the vine.
This is God’s temple, it’s not yours or mine,
But we are a part of the family.
There’s rest for the weary and health for us all;
There’s a yoke that is easy, and a burden that’s small.
So come in and worship and answer the call,
For we are a part of the family.”
This song became known to United Church congregations in the arrangement made by Darryl Nixon for the hymn book supplement Songs for a Gospel People (1987). Singer songwriter James K. Manley, the composer of this hymn, is a minister in the United Church of Christ (USA). “Part of the Family” reminds both members and visitors that our congregation is an open, diverse group that welcomes people of all ages, every marital status, and all views, interest levels, and stages in the faith journey.
Hear the hymn sung by Strathroy United Church at: https://youtu.be/gIz4FQYBF04
“When We Come Together”
“When we come together gladly
Our community grows strong.
When we meet to tell our story,
When we join to sing our song,
We are celebrating friendship,
We are building bonds of peace;
Pass a vision to each other;
Let God’s spirit never cease.
All are welcome at our table
To be nourished by the Word.
Christ extends the invitation,
We respond as we have heard.
He does not demand perfection
When we worship in his name,
For the last shall be the first here;
God forgives us just the same.
In our crowded lives we’re searching
For a meaning we can share.
Will we find some room for patience,
Will we take the time to care?
But when two or more are gathered,
Christ will be there with us too,
Then the Spirit grows among us,
Giving joy to all we do.”
This song was written by Allan Baer in 2007.
“The words of the first verse of this song were written on the back of a napkin at a church potluck dinner while waiting for our table to be called. Food always seems to be a joyous occasion to come together, and what is nourished is not just our stomachs, but also our sense of community. No wonder the most important ritual of the Christian faith – communion (called the eucharist in other traditions) – centres around food, and often goes by the name “the Lord’s Supper”. Yet that first communion was followed soon after by denial, betrayal and abandonment. Christ’s “inner circle” often missed the point of his parables and squabbled over who was the top disciple. But just as Christ didn’t wait until his imperfect disciples had improved themselves, neither should we expect that any who attend worship are somehow “better people”. In worship we seek to reconcile ourselves to God’s vision for us, from which we all have fallen short. In community, even if only two or three, we can re-imagine that vision, and then work together to bring that vision to life.” (Source: https://www.crossroadsunited.ca/spirit/)
“Eternal, Unchanging, We Sing” (VU #223)
“Eternal, Unchanging, we sing to your praise:
Your mercies are endless, and righteous your ways;
Your servants proclaim the renown of your name
Who rules over all and is ever the same.
Again we rejoice in the world you have made,
Your mighty creation in beauty arrayed,
We thank you for life, and we praise you for joy,
For love and for hope that no power can destroy.
We praise you for Jesus, our Master and Lord,
The might of his Spirit, the truth of his word,
His comfort in sorrow, his patience in pain,
The faith sure and steadfast that Jesus shall reign.”
This is one of R.B.Y. Scott’s early hymns, first published in 1938. The tune, ST. DENIO, is a traditional Welsh melody adapted into a hymn tune during the Welsh revivals at the turn of the 19th century. It is also the tune used by Ralph Vaughan Williams with the hymn “Immortal, Invisible.” Through the lyrics we are reminded of the infinite nature of God, and give thanks for the Creation and the gifts of Jesus and the Spirit.
Hear the melody on pipe organ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqgQ3_VcaKw
“We are People of Faith”
“We are people of faith.
We are sisters and brothers sharing God’s promise wherever we go.
As we live every day, we reach out to others,
Showing them kindness and bringing them hope.
Share God’s love, rejoice in God’s Word.
Go and carry God’s light into all of the world.
Joined as one, our voices we raise in a song of God’s glory and praise.
We are people of Christ.
We are working together,
Sharing the blessings He offers each day.
We will give Him our lives, and serve Him forever,
Trusting our Savior to show us the way.
Share God’s love…”
This week’s anthem is by Don Besig and Nancy Price (2013). The words are based on I Corinthians 16:13, Ephesians 6:16, and Ephesians 2:8-9. The lyrics affirm the community of faith and our role as ambassadors for Christ as we go into the world.
“Kingsford Communion Set” (MV 203-205)
“O holy, holy, holy God,
O God of time and space.
All earth and sea and sky above bear witness to your grace.
Hosanna in the highest heav’n, creation sings your praise.
And blessed is the One who comes and bears your name always!”
“Sing Christ has died and Christ is risen, Christ will come again!
Sing Christ has died and Christ is risen, Christ will come again!”
“Amen, amen, O Holy One!
Hosanna and Amen!
Amen, amen, O Holy One!
Hosanna and Amen!”
This communion set by William S. Kervin and Paul Stott (2005) is comprised of the Sanctus and Benedictus, the Memorial Acclamation and the Great Amen of our communion liturgy. The music is the tradition English/Irish melody, KINGSFOLD.
“The Lord’s Prayer” (VU #959)
Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name;
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
Now and forever.”
This setting of the Lord’s Prayer was written by David Haas in 1986.
Hear the song at: https://www.shazam.com/track/57413632/the-lords-prayer (click on Music Video – “The Lord’s Prayer”)
“Draw the Circle Wide” (MV #145)
“Draw the circle wide. Draw it wider still.
Let this be our song, no one stands alone,
Standing side by side,
Draw the circle wide.
God the still-point of the circle,
‘Round whom all creation turns;
nothing lost, but held forever,
In God’s gracious arms.
Let the dreams we dream be larger
Than we’ve ever dreamed before;
Let the dream of Christ be in us,
Open every door.”
This hymn of inclusion was written by Gordon Light of the Common Cup Company in 1994 and arranged by Michael Bloss in 1998. The Common Cup Company is a musical group featuring songwriters Gordon Light & Ian Macdonald. Their musical ministry began in 1979 when Light (an Anglican Priest and later Bishop), met Ian Macdonald and Jim Uhrich (both United Church ministers) while serving neighboring churches in Winnipeg, Canada. Jim Uhrich also served as interim minister at Windsor Park United Church. Bob Wallace joined the group in 1982. In the following decades this original quartet wrote, performed, & recorded together despite living in different corners the country.
Hear the hymn at: https://youtu.be/zBNQ3zA7ulU
How do you see the role of the church evolving?
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